Digital Photography Essays

Photo forum participants

Written by Digicamhelp Editor

A photo enthusiast takes a lighthearted look at some of the ways folks participate in online photography forums.

Scratching headI’ve done my share of hanging around online photography forums and have observed about what sometimes goes on there. Here are my definitions of the types of photography folk who participate!

Pixel peeper: Someone who spends too much time looking at 100% crops, posting them and trying to convince others/themselves that a particular model is good/bad in image quality.

Noise freak: A person who hates noise in their images. The noise freak can spot a noisy pixel 20 feet from a monitor…they often resort to noise reduction programs to wipe it out. Noise freak will never buy a camera that may be a bit of a noise machine…he would have sleepless nights.

Megapixel maniac: The MM will buy a camera just because it has more megapixels. Often selling his/her old cam on eBay. Doesn’t matter if the new one is better, they just love megapixels. They often try to convince others that they need “more megapixels”

Lens tester: These people can’t sleep at night unless they have “tested” their lenses. This doesn’t involve trying to take “nice shots” of something; they point the glass at “res charts”, “brick walls” and the like. The whole aim is prove to themselves that it was a good idea to dump £1000 on that new lens. They also post shots to try to convince others that their lens it the best and its sharper too. Lens tester is related to “gear head”.

Gear head: The GH loves to buy, it’s way of life. More cameras, more flashes, tons of expensive lenses, filters, you name it they have it. If they don’t have it you can be sure it’s on the “must buy” list. Some gear heads do use a camera and some just collect them. Gear head likes quality, and won’t buy cheap stuff. They come in many flavours….

Moaner: Moaner moans about everything and anything. They can’t help it. New camera, noise, NR processing, camera prices, lens prices, raw file sizes, lack of buffer sizes, slow AF speeds, metering. If it’s out there, moaner will find it!

Moaner about moaner: These people go around complaining about those who are complaining! They don’t have any real issues, evidence, or ideas…they just enjoy moaning about those who moan! Related to the “fanboy”

Fanboy!: Fanboy loves his camera, it’s his/her life. Fanboy will defend his make and brand of camera to the death! Any attempt at honest critique or reason will not work. Fanboy will often launch into a robust zealous defense of their camera, because its the best, they bought it so it must be.

Mega Gear Head!: MGH is the ultimate gear head. Not only do they have the best camera bodies, the most expensive lenses, flashes, the fastest CF cards…the works…MGH is the ultimate dream come true for camera companies. Cheap is not a word they use.

They also come in two distinct flavours:

Mac MGH: As above but the proud owner of an Apple computer. Not just any old Mac, but the top of the line multi CPU cinema display monitor X2, THX certified speakers, 4Gb+ RAM…the works.

They try to convince PC MGH that Apple are better.

PC MGH: Same as above but tries to convince Mac MGH that PC’s are better.

Both have heaps of software (expensive photo editing stuff), spend hours even days trying to post process that perfect shot, even if its not that good anyway. Mac and PC MGH loathe each other.

Crop Maniac: Related to Megapixel maniac: They need more megapixels to crop, whatever they get isnt enough. Give ‘em 12mp they want 16! Big is better and more pixels makes them happy. They also post crop shots to prove “their point”.

Post processing Fanboy: Related to fanboy. To these people if you dont spend half a day on your shot in Photoshop, you are not serious about photography. Every shot must be heavily pp, and with Photoshop. PP fanboy always shoots in RAW…all the time, and will post images to convince other that RAW is better than JPEG… PP fanboy worries about losing his images, so has extra HDD’s, other computers, CD/DVD hard copies of RAW…and of course multiple RAW programs so they can “compare” details….

Digital Dude: The DD loves digital; some are ex 35mm users. They swear that film is for dinosaurs and that nobody needs it anymore. Some have never shot film. They also post crop shots of scanned film v digital posts….and will never admit to film being any good, its always worse….always

Dodge Burn freak: DB freak loves to d&b in Photoshop. Black & White isn’t worth anything unless they have spent a good few hours tearing the contrast levels to death and producing an image that’s miles away from what it used to be. DB freak was brought up on a staple diet of Ansel Adams, whom they love, but they always feel upset that they don’t get the results that they really want. You are not serious about b&w work if you don’t d&b.

HDR man: HDR man has got some interesting results from multi images at different exposures, they love it. They crave more dynamic range; some even shoot 5+ frames. They tend not to worry about composition and stuff as much. They love the effect they get.

Photographer: Worries little about the above. They have the skill to see a shot and produce the results, whatever they have camera wise. Photographer isn’t chained to his pc/mac, can sometimes even work without Photoshop. They worry about getting the shot they want…and that’s all. They never blame gear of equipment, only themselves. Most are heavy self critics….and think eat and sleep picturing the next shot they want. Photographer is driven to improve his skill, and has no real concern for tests and such. The image is the goal.

This article was contributed by Barry Fitzgerald.


  • Any topic related to Digital Photography is fine. Comments should relate to the content of the article on the page you’re visiting. If you have a long question, or have one that may need an ongoing discussion, post your inquiry in our Q&A Forum. Registration is free.

  • Just wanted to introduce myself, been a lurker on here for a while. Are there any subjects that we can’t talk about on here?

  • Thank you for this…I was beginning to think I was the only sane one in the lunatic asylum!
    “its the best, they bought it so it must be” = that just sums up so much about todays consumer madness.

    PS Anyone know a good photography forum where people share ideas rather than just compare the sizes of their bellows?